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Copy Word doc formatting into InDesign?


Question

How do I keep Word document formatting the same as it appears in Word when copy/pasting into InDesign?

I have tried several methods and the text becomes homogenized in InDesign and loses all formatting, including bold and italics. This will be for formatting an ad journal of 300-500 pages.

2015/10/20
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10/20/2015 11:31:00 PM

This can be changed in the global application "Preferences". Image from CS4/Mac OSX (other OS and versions may differ in detail):

clipboard handling preference

Summarized from David Blatner's InDesignSecrets:

Open the Preferences dialog box (Command/Ctrl-K) and look for the When Pasting Text... option. In CS3, it's in the Clipboard Handling pane of the Preferences dialog box. In CS2 it's in the Type pane of the dialog box. Change this from Text to All Information.

and from Adobe's own Online Help:

Paste text from another application

  1. To preserve formatting and information such as styles and index markers, open the Clipboard Handling section of the Preferences dialog box, and select All Information under Paste. To remove these items and other formatting when pasting, select Text Only.

  2. Cut or copy text in another application or in an InDesign document.

  3. If you like, select text or click in a text frame. Otherwise, the text will be pasted into its own new frame.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Edit > Paste. If the pasted text doesn’t include all the formatting, you may need to change settings in the Import Options dialog box for RTF documents.
    • Choose Edit > Paste Without Formatting. (Paste Without Formatting is dimmed if you paste text from another application when Text Only is selected in Clipboard Handling Preferences.)

I cannot recall if the default for this option in a fresh install is "Text Only", but if it is just enable "All information" because you always have the explicit option to "Paste without formatting" in the Edit menu.


There is actually no need at all to use copy/paste for entire files. InDesign's native Place Document feature can place most Word files immediately, without having to open them in Word first.

2015/10/20
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10/20/2015 10:28:00 PM